Traveling can bring up all sorts of emotions within us; anxiety, excitement, awe, fear, anticipation, and the opportunity to step outside of ‘normal’ life for a while, to discover new parts of the world and new aspects of ourselves. No matter where we travel to – whether near or far from home – there’s always ONE piece of luggage we bring with us; ourselves. Traveling can help enhance our intuition, sense of self-trust, confidence and wisdom, as well as opening our eyes to different cultures and even challenging beliefs we may have been holding on to a little too tightly. Of course, traveling can also simply be about relaxing in the sunshine or escaping to a nearby beach to devour a brand new book (we’re loving Seeking Slow by Melanie Barnes), as well as devouring an ice cream or two. So, whether you’re jetting off to exotic lands or journeying within the UK, be sure to pack our advice and these essentials for happier, healthier holiday travels.
Roll Out Your Travel Mat
If you’re heading off on holiday but want to maintain your daily yoga practice, you may be wondering; what’s the best yoga travel mat? Heavy studio mats can tip your luggage allowance over the edge all too easily, so a thin and light mat like the Yogamatters Eco Travel Mat is the way to go. Made from eco-friendly materials and engineered for a non-slip surface, the super light mat can be easily rolled or folded into your case so you can practice sun salutations at sunrise (or at least a few downward facing dogs before breakfast…). As more and more yoga classes are available online today too, you may even want to practice a full class online with your teacher whilst traveling, so upgrade to the Yogamatters Yoga Travel Kit, complete with blanket and yoga strap. Even with these additional props, the kit is even light enough to pack in a rucksack for countryside treks.
Meditation For Calmer Car & Plane Journeys
We all have different ways of coping with long journeys. A podcast, playlist, several games of eye-spy… . But for those who don’t deal well with car journeys or want a healthier distraction than the drinks trolley when flying, give meditation a go. Especially if you feel anxious when traveling, a meditation practice is a powerful tool to calm the mind and nervous system, and can transform an anxiety-inducing challenge into an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Journey Within by Max Strom is a 23-minute guided meditation CD to help cultivate health, softness and compassion. His rich voice guides you on a journey from darkness to light, and helps you breathe into all the areas of stress in your body. You’ll want to listen to this many times, to pop it on a hit ‘repeat’. To learn more about meditation practices and how to create your own, read Relax & Be Aware by Sayadaw U Tejaniya.
Along with the carbon emissions (which you can contribute to offsetting by getting involved with tree-planting organizations, sponsoring companies to develop energy-efficient cooking stoves to other countries and recycling whenever possible), traveling is often accompanied with a fair amount of waste. From disposable coffee cups to airline cutlery, napkins and food waste, it helps to do whatever we can to be as personally sustainable as possible. Bring a reusable and eco-friendly water container like Hydro Flask, which keeps cold drinks icy cool and hot drinks toasty warm. Pack the W&P Porter Mug as a high quality replacement for disposable cups too, and you’ll go a long way to reducing your eco-impact.
If you didn’t already know, you don’t have to eat lukewarm, uninspiring airplane meals – you can bring your own food and actually enjoy your in-flight food! Whether it’s a trip to the beach or a long-haul flight, choose recipes from The 5 Minute Vegan Lunchbox for happy, healthy and speedy meals by Alexander Hart. Use the Hydroflask insulated food jar to store it in, and if it’s a Summer picnic you’re heading out to, don’t forget to pack the beautiful West Path Mexican Baja Diamond Yoga blanket to relax on.
Protect Your Skin
Whilst there are a long list of benefits we get from the sun, burning is still an issue we all want to avoid whilst on holiday. The tried-and-tested advice about staying out of the hot midday sun still works, as well as putting on the sun cream (just make sure it’s a chemical-free product), but after soaking up the sun, your skin really needs hydrating too. After that long day at the beach or by the pool, rinse off the sand and scrub off the chlorine, and lather on the Balance Me Moisture Rich Face Cream. Rich and hydrating, the moisturiser was created to protect and sensitized, fragile and dehydrated skin, with antioxidant rich cloudberry to reduce redness. Treat your body to the Balance Me Rose Otto Body Cream to soothe, smooth and rehydrate dry skin.
Don’t Forget The Deodorant
It’s no secret that Summer months are what deodorant was made for. A sweaty yoga class, workout session, or simply making it through the work day in the middle of July all require a deodorant you can rely on. The problem with many deodorants is that they’re full of harsh chemicals and aluminum (definitely not healthy ingredients for our bodies!), and some natural deodorants just don’t work quite as well as they promise to. The Natural Deodorant Co however, makes natural, non-harmful deodorants that actually work. The small jars are suitable for popping into your travel case, and their Clean Deodorant range comes in a range of scents, including grapefruit & mint, lemon & geranium, and orange & bergamot.
Have you ever opened your suitcase to find your belongings covered in toothpaste or shampoo? Make this something you never have to worry about again whilst traveling, with the Georganics charcoal toothpaste. A natural, eco-friendly and effective way to clean your teeth, the toothpaste is blended with active charcoal from coconut shells and English peppermint oil. Cleansing, whitening yet warm and spicy, you’ll only need a pea-size amount so it goes a long way.
Settle In & Sleep Well
Make your hotel room or holiday rental (or sleeping bag) more inviting with a spritz of Tisserand’s Sleep Better pillow mist. Lavender can relax the mind and encourage peaceful sleep, whilst sandalwood is soothing and jasmine can bring about a positive yet calm and sedated state. Simply spray over your pillow before sleeping as part of your bedtime ritual, or spray in the air around you to create a blissfully peaceful atmosphere before bed.
Cover Your Eyes & Care For Your Body Clock
When we travel long distances, this can confuse the body clock and disrupt our sleep, digestion, energy levels and even our mood. One of the best things to do before visiting a country in a different time zone is to start shifting yourself into that time zone a few days before traveling if possible. If you’re flying when it’s night time in your destination, use an eye mask like the Spritz Wellness Liberty Print aromatherapy eye mask, filled with a removable lavender sachet and made from completely washable material. Large enough to fully block out the light and with an elasticated band for extra comfort, this is a key item to pack in your carry-on luggage to give yourself some much needed rest whilst traveling.
Massage-Away Those Tight Travel Muscles
Car journeys, flights, and any situation that requires us to sit for an extended period of time can cause tightness in the legs, hips and back. I know that personally, I often experience back pain after long train journeys, so having a tool to help massage away the knots and tension is invaluable. Small enough to carry in your bag but powerful enough to relieve stiffness, the Lola Pocket Size Massage Gun is especially designed for those who want to train hard, travel well, and relax and recover optimally. The long battery life means you can use it for 10 minutes a day for up to 60 days without charging, so for a week or two away on holiday, you won’t even need to pack the charger for it.
Where are you traveling to this Summer? Are there any travel essentials you always have to have with you? Add them to this list to create your complete guide to traveling happier and healthier this season.
Emma is a 500hr qualified Yoga teacher, musician, massage therapist, cook, and writer. Having grown up surrounded by Yoga and meditation, Emma began her practice at a young age and has continued to study and develop her understanding of Yoga on a daily basis. Training internationally with inspirational teachers, Emma’s passions her now lie primarily in philosophy and Yoga off the mat. Emma currently teaches regularly in Sussex, co-leading teacher trainings, retreats, workshops and kirtans, and also manages the Brighton Yoga Festival.